NSFW: Amazing Yakuza tattoos

NSFW: Careful, your boss may not want to find you looking at pictures of naked Japanese gangsters.

Yakuza tattoo 1

In Japan, the popular children’s game “spot the gangster” is really far too easy: he is the man with the sprawling technicolour tattoo of a tiger and swirling cherry blossoms etched into the skin of his back. The man is most probably a member of the the Japanese mafia, or yakuza, and although his back designs are making you want to look, you really probably shouldn’t.

Yakuza tattoos

The Japanese have associated tattooing (or irezumi) with criminality for hundreds of years. In ancient times, tattoos were given to outlaws as a punishment, and the tattoo taboo continued well into the 20th century. Nowadays this amazing body art is legal again, but done the traditional way with an irezumi brush made of 46 stainless steel needles, and costing upwards of £20,000 for a full body suit, it might still be seen as a form of punishment!

Irezumi brush

An irezumi brush - how real gangsters get tattooed

Horrific though the irezumi brush may be, in skilled hands it creates some of the most beautiful images ever seen on skin. And thankfully for the sake of gender equality and general aesthetics, yakuza tattoos are not reserved exclusively for the dangerous men.

Yakuza tattoos women

Today, for Amazing Stuff lovers across the world, we have shaken the giant cherry tree that is the internet and pawed through them to find the choicest blossoms, which we present to you here as the ultimate selection of the most amazing yakuza tattoos and irezumi photos. Enjoy.

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Yakuza tattoo 10

I wonder when we’ll see a yakuza UV tattoo?

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